NEWS

Hitchhike To Rhome Reissue

October 13, 2014 (2 weeks ago)

OLD 97’s’ CLASSIC DEBUT HITCHHIKE TO RHOME RECEIVES EXPANDED 20th ANNIVERSARY REISSUE ON OMNIVORE RECORDINGS

Out 11/17/14—1994 indie debut release now available as 2-CD (with 12 bonus tracks) or 2-LP package

 

The official press release:

DALLAS, Texas — The Old 97’s burst onto the alt-country scene in 1994 with their independently released debut, Hitchhike To Rhome. With subsequent albums on Bloodshot, Elektra, New West, and ATO Records, the quartet became one of the Americana genre’s most enduring bands.

To celebrate this anniversary, Omnivore Recordings will reissue Hitchhike, the band’s first album, with an expanded release on 2-CD, digital, and — for the first time — on double LP. Street date is November 17, 2014.

When band member and set co-producer Ken Bethea was revisiting the original tapes for this reissue, he discovered a treasure trove of eight extra tracks cut at the album sessions — many of which the band hadn’t even remembered recording. It seemed the perfect time to bring those previously unissued songs to light and add the tracks from their first four-song demo cassette to round out the early picture of the 97’s.

The 2-CD version of Hitchhike To Rhome contains the original album, coupled with a second disc of those 12 rare and unreleased tracks, many mixed from the original multi-tracks for the first time by longtime Old 97’s engineer Rip Rowan. The double LP (limited edition first pressing on translucent orange vinyl) features the LP on three sides with six of the recently unearthed tracks on Side 4. The download card included gives the buyer the complete 2-CD program. Both formats include rare photos, memorabilia and notes from Bethea.

The entire album has been remixed from original session tapes by Rip Rowan.

From the Too Far To Care reissue complete with demos (also available separately on vinyl as They Made A Monster), to the band’s sessions with the great Waylon Jennings, Omnivore continues to add to the Old 97’s legacy with this integral, early part of their history and catalog.

Return to the origins of the Old 97s with Return to Rhome!

– – – – –

Check out this blog post from engineer Rip Rowan >

– – – – –

CD TRACK LIST:

Disc One

St. Ignatius

504

Drowning In The Days

Miss Molly

Dancing With Tears

4 Leaf Clover

Wish The Worst

Old 97’s Theme

Doreen

Hands Off

Mama Tried

Stoned

If My Heart Was A Car

Desperate Times

Ken’s Polka Thing

Tupelo County Jail

 

Disc Two

St. Ignatius (demo cassette version)

Drowning In The Days

(demo cassette version)

Making Love With You

(demo cassette version)


Stoned (demo cassette version)

Dancing With Tears (demo)*

Ivy (demo)*


Eyes For You*


Crying Drunk*


Victoria*


Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*

Alright By Me*


Desperate Times*

 

 

LP TRACK LIST

Side One

St. Ignatius

504

Drowning In The Days

Miss Molly

Dancing With Tears

Side Two

4 Leaf Clover

Wish The Worst

Old 97’s Theme

Tupelo County Jail

Doreen

Hands Off

Side Three

Mama Tried

Stoned

If My Heart Was A Car

Desperate Times

Ken’s Polka Thing

Tupelo County Jail

Side Four

Crying Drunk*


Dancing With Tears (demo)

Ivy (demo)*


Victoria*


Eyes For You*

Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*

* Previously unissued.

 

T-Shirt Design Contest

September 12, 2014

It’s been a couple of years since our last t-shirt design contest. And who can forget the last winner, Clay Billman’s excellent Bright Spark design? Well it’s that time again. We’ll be accepting designs from now till October 1, then we’ll post finalists on Facebook for feedback before the band makes their selection. “What’s in it for me?,” you ask? Let’s see:

 

WINNER
– An invitation to the sound check before the next live show of your choice*
– 1 CD or vinyl album of your choice from the old97s.com store
– The joy and satisfaction of having your shirt design printed and worn by Old 97’s fans everywhere
– 2 Tshirts featuring your design

FINALISTS
– A complete set of the Summer 2014 Tour poster set
Scuba Poster Alien Poster Soldier Poster

To enter, just email your design to noreplyold97s@gmail.com.

Some entries will be shared on social media along the way, but these shares may or may not be finalists when the time comes.

Have fun!

 

 

UPDATE

We’re a little behind schedule but you can now vote on the finalists on Facebook. Go here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

– * Some restrictions apply. I don’t what restrictions, it depends on the venue and random acts of nature and such. But we’ll do our damnedest. Just you wait.

Greetings fellow Wreckers! Along with the copious press interviews, both the band and Rhett did a load of live performances throughout the first three legs of touring. The following are enough super sessions to keep you entertained all weekend. Get comfy, because here… we… GO!

 

Prior to the start of the first touring dates, Rhett stopped by People Magazine studios in New York to perform Longer Than You’ve Been Alive here.

That same day Rhett and Murry stopped by Esquire Editor-in-Chief David Granger’s office to sing an Olivia Newton John staple here.

Several days before MMU was released, Rhett made a stop at KXT in Dallas to spread the word and play a handful of new songs and old favorites. Catch it here.

Old 97’s made another stop at World Cafe to talk with the incomparable David Dye. The power went out, but that didn’t stop the guys from rawking out in front of the enthusiastic, albeit overheated, in-studio crowd. There may have even been a panty or two tossed on stage in appreciation? Listen here.

Rhett spoke with the equally incomparable Robin Young from NPR’s Here and Now. The link is here.

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Both Rhett and Murry stopped by WYEP’s studio in Pittsburgh before their show at Mr. Small’s to share stories with Mike Sauter.
The small things like a breath before or after a song are what make an album sound live. “Our record begins with a sort of tired breath from Rhett, a weary one, but it ends with kind of a satisfied breath,” Hammond says.

The entire session can be streamed here.

IMG_6343

 

The band stopped by Bing Lounge to perform in front of an appreciative audience for KINK radio in Portland. The interview is here; Guadalajara here; Wasted here; Let’s Get Drunk here; Longer Than You’ve Been Alive here.

In Seattle, the 97’s stopped by KEXP’s station to talk shop and play a handful of songs from MMU for Jim Beckman. Here

Christian Shaeffer from KDHX in St. Louis caught up with the 97’s and got some interesting perspective from the guys before the show at the Ready Room. Find out what Murry meant when he stated “The band is like Mexican food.” The interview and live performance is here.

Prior to their Milwaukee date, Rhett talked via phone with WMSE’s Chicken Shack here.

Brad Savage from The Corner in Charlottesvile, Va posted this interview and live performance of Wasted, Let’s Get Drunk and Nineteen here.

Heather Anders of The River in Asheville, NC spends roughly 15 minutes chatting with Rhett and listening to him play Longer and Let’s Get Drunk here.

RiYL offers up a fantastic interview discussing, among other things, Rhett’s 911 experience, writing book reviews (Leonard Cohen’s bio, in particular), and Ovation guitars over whiskey and cheese backstage at New York’s City Winery here. This conversation may be my favorite of the bunch. They cover so many varied subjects, and Rhett is so relaxed. Maybe it was the whiskey. (insert winkie face here)

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.53.13 PM

We all know how witty Rhett is, listen as he holds his own going toe-to-toe with comedians on the following podcasts.

Throwing Shade’s Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi manically toss questions at Rhett on a shortened video clip here on Funny or Die. The entire interview (beginning at 40:40 in) is streaming here. They dish about hair highlights, flowbees, Mick Jagger’s throat, Axl Rose’s backstage behavior before Rhett sings a song from MMU.

Rhett spars with Adam Carolla on his podcast here (beginning 1:08:00 in). They talk middle-school sports, a crazy hotel incident with an unnamed celebrity and Snow Patrol. Does Rhett love them or despise them? You’ll have to listen to find out.

 

Other Extraneous Random Reviews/Photos:

Rhett’s AMA on Reddit here
Review of the gig at One-Eyed Jacks: here
Review of the show at Fitzgerald’s in Houston here
Review and photos from the Ready Room in St. Louis are here and here where this happened:

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.36.48 PM

 

Let’s not forget David Daley’s fabulous Salon article that got the ball rolling. It’s definitely worth another read here.  Mr. Miller doesn’t have to make everyone happy all the time, but he certainly has made his fan base ecstatic with this outstanding collection of songs.

And just for grins, here’s a terrific blast-from-the-past article I stumbled on with the Washington Post’s Shayla Thiel from way back in September of 1997. She speaks with all four band members. Ken even answers “a few key questions”. Enjoy!

 

New dates are posted on the site. Go pick a date or three, and don’t be left out of the fun of this tour!!

Our favorite foursome just finished the third leg of their tour in support of the superb Most Messed Up in Santa Fe before a much needed break. They have been getting rave reviews from fans and publications alike. I was lucky enough to catch them back-to-back on the second leg, and I can tell you first-hand, this tour is something special!! They all are revitalized, reinvigorated and ready to rock your faces off with the energy, swagger and bravado of their 20-something selves. This tour is not to be missed!

As you might imagine, they’ve been doing tons of press and appearances over the past three months. I shall effort to condense the copious copy and live interviews down to a somewhat manageable level. It’s tough because there is a lot of love flowing for these magnificent Texans, the most recent of which is Rolling Stone Magazine’s 45 Best Albums of 2014 So Far list. MMU logged an impressive #17 slot, topping The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen at #41. But, of course we all know this one is made of greatness.

OL3-0528-thumb-560x372

 

Get ready. Here comes an onslaught of great Q & As with our fantastic frontman:

Bill Rabinowitz of The Columbus Dispatch speaks to Rhett about longevity, the fans immediate embrace of these songs and Ken’s explanation of the adult themes to his kids.

”’I’ll just have to explain it to my kid. I’ll say, you know, sometimes grownups come through a hard time and you’ve got to come up with ways to express it and words to talk about it. It’s complicated being a grownup.’ I thought that was perfect. It is complicated being a grownup. That’s what this record is all about.”

You can read the entire article here, or if you prefer, listen to the phone interview here.

 

Jeff at Whopperjaw talks to Rhett about this newfound success 20 years in, the ups and downs of the music industry, and his words of wisdom to kids at his alma mater.

“A stupid career choice is way better than making a career choice that hurts your soul in the long run. The bottom has fallen out of art and music. I don’t want to lose art and music. I don’t want to live in that world.”

The link to the full article is here.

 

James Sullivan of The Boston Globe finds out how failing to keep up drink-for-drink with Tommy Stinson led to Stinson playing on several tracks on MMU. Sullivan ends the article with this happy truth:

If they’ve settled down in their private lives, they still know how to raise the roof onstage.
“We all feel pretty confident in our ability to rock,” Miller says. “I don’t think we feel stupid yet, shaking our asses and making loud noise.”

You can read other great quotes here.

 

Stephen M. Deusner  from CMT Edge and Rhett discuss the humanization of rock stars via social media and similarities between past characters and those featured on MMU.

An interesting observation you can read about here and ponder for yourself.

 

In the extensive cover story in the Illinois Entertainer, Rhett speaks about coming to terms with the Alt-Country label…
“For a long time, I think I was annoyed by the reductive nature of the label ‘alt-country’ and I wanted to announce to the world ‘Hey-I can do a lot of stuff, I can explore a lot of different avenues!'”

the liberating feeling of letting go of the need for doing the right thing and being perfect all the time, freeing him to write honestly…
“(Wasted) is sort of the thesis statement on the record … life is too short to be sitting around worrying about doing the right thing all the time.”

and his unexpected epiphany…
“I realized that the things I regret the most … are the things that I have not done. The things I was too scared to do.”

You’re going to want to take the time to read the entire article in which Rhett delves deeper into his mindset while penning MMU, talks a bit about his concern about his kids’ reaction to the album, and his upcoming solo effort. The link to the magazine is here.

 

With Andy Downing of ColumbusAlive, Rhett reflects on his 20 year career and his competitive nature concerning all-things Scrabble.

“Part of this record was allowing myself the luxury to reflect on the two decades I’ve spent in this band and the two-and-a-half decades I’ve spent as a professional musician,” he said. “People can smell when something is false, and so the best songs I’ve written are the ones that are the most honest and the most true to who I really am. Sometimes I’ll blow it up for the sake of a good story or for the sake of drama, but generally I’m that guy in those songs, and I’m just trying to tell something true to the world.”

You can read more here.

 

To Jeff Niesel of Cleveland Scene, Rhett confesses:
“Sometimes, you can do yourself a disservice by grasping toward universality. I love the idea of songs being applicable to everyone who listens to them. That said, sometimes, the most universal sentiments are the most personable and the most honest. In ‘Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,’ I talk about my job. It’s a really weird job. I don’t know of a lot of people who have been lead singers in rock bands for two decades. It’s a strange perspective I get to have. I love it. It’s weird. It’s also not what people think it is most of the time.”

Regarding the 97’s current onslaught of media buzz 20 years into their career, Rhett had this to say:

“I don’t know that I feel like anyone has taken us for granted. We’ve always had big appreciative audiences. It is a little weird 20 years in to have this newfound success, I guess. You know what they say: Better late than never. I’ll take it. I’ve seen both sides — pre-collapse and post-collapse — of the music business.”

There are other interesting tidbits in the full article here.

 

Rhett tackles a number of random, music-related questions on Yahooo, including which concert inspired him to be a musician, his pre-show ritual, and his go-to karaoke song. You can read his other fun answers here. Some of them may surprise you.

rhett-and-lydia-blog

 

Murry also got to weigh in on his reflections of Most Messed Up.

With The Advocate’s John Wirt, Murry shares what he finds special about the songs on MMU penned by who he calls the “best songwriter in Texas”:

What’s special about this record is that it’s autobiography about what was going on with Rhett. He was writing about tough times during middle life. And the songs are clever and funny. They’re Rhett at his best. Most Messed Up is the most cohesive batch of songs to ever appear on an Old 97’s album. The previous albums flow into each other, but this one is a singular snapshot of someone’s life.”

Check out his other impressions here.

(http://theadvocate.com/entertainment/9219574-31/country-meets-punk-in-the)

 

Murry had this reply when Jennifer Levin from SantaFeNewMexican.com stated (with MMU being louder, harder, and curse-laden) suddenly the Old 97’s aren’t so sweet.

“MMU is about behaving badly in the middle of your life. We’re singing about our problems; we’re singing about pain that’s going on right now … We write about real stuff, some rough stuff that has gone on. I’m proud of that.”

Also, Murry sums up life’s pathos with the most succinct quote of all:

Men can get in a bad way by a girl.

Here, Here. You can read more here.

 

In a fun interview with Popmatters Jennifer Kelly, Murry starts off with a harrowing, wintry tale in a van, with the band and a whiskey bottle.

He goes on to talk about the “unrequited love of his life”, how the band were amazingly present during recording…

“…I think there was no way this record was not going to be loose and honest and thus very fresh and very present. That’s the first word that jumps out to me when I heard the record … the sheer presence of it. I haven’t really heard this band be this present in a while.”

and how Longer Than You’ve Been Alive teleports him back in time to the lean years huddled in that van on an icy night and speaks to the indelible bond between four musical brothers.

“When I hear that song, I’m in that van with that whiskey bottle freezing to death with these three guys. I feel the bridges between us when I hear that song. I feel the things that bind us together when I hear that song.”

Catch the rest of the conversation here. Jennifer’s right. As the title of the article states, there is no reason this band couldn’t last forever.

Amen.

 

 

Most Messed Up Commentary pt 2
Ken Bethea, Stage Right

(Also see Part 1)

Wasted

The first time I heard Rhett sing this song I thought it was about getting drunk and I didn’t find it all that interesting. When I realized it was actually about wasting your life away (whether that be holding a guitar or sitting in a cubicle), I did a 180. While it may seem obvious that spending 21 years “dancing on the edge of the big black void” has been a no-brainer of a career decision, it is not.

Through the years, I’ve made references to other songs I like with my guitar parts (Kiss’s “Great Expectations” on “Barrier Reef”, for instance). The melody on the guitar outro is my little nod to the vocal at the end of Pulp’s “Common People”. A song that I suspect, but can’t confirm, was the greatest song of the 90’s.

Guitar 1 – Black Telecaster> Matchless Chieftain
Guitar 2 – Landric Chief> Matchless Chieftain. I have the Chief tuned way down to C I think. It’s what I’m playing all those low notes on.

Guadalajara

Ride the wild waves!!! I love me some chances to play surf/Dead Kennedy’s style guitar. A couple of years ago we were using a Adam and the Ants song called “Los Rancheros” as walk on music. The intro to “Guadalajara” is that kind of sound. We were all really happy when we put that together. We just put it in the set last week and it’s great fun playing it live.

Intro Guitar – Gretsch Tennessee Rose> Fender Twin Reverb turned loud as possible with the Reverb on 10
Main Guitar – Gretsch Tennesee Rose> Matchless Chieftain

The Disconnect

This song reminds me of something we would have done around our Fight Songs era. Sort of a mix between “The Villain” and “ Indefinitely”. Clean solo. Cool vocals, especially at the end with Rhett and Murry doing that call and response stuff.

Guitar 1 – Black Telecaster> Matchless Chieftain
Guitar 2 and Solo – Landric Telecaster> Matchless Chieftain

The Ex of All You See

It took us a while to figure out what this song was about. It started as more of a sad country song but that really wasn’t working that well as a band. It didn’t feel fresh. Philip and Salim got us to try more of garage rock stomp and the song took off. It let me play those Who-style big chords which isn’t normal. I also like the way they let me choke my guitar off at the very end of the song in the mix.

Guitar 1 – Gretsch Sparklejet> 50’s Era Gibson Les Paul amp
Guitar 2 – Can’t remember bleh


Intervention and Most Messed Up

The two songs that the full band played with Tommy Stinson on. We played these songs several times each, back to back that night after drinks had been served. Pretty fun. They are both pretty much just straight blues songs, which we never do. That’s also fun but I can’t imagine being in a blues band and just doing this night after night. Seems like it would get fairly stale.

Ken – Gretsch Tennesee Rose> Matchless Chieftain
Tommy – G&L ASAT (Same guitar that’s on “Salome”> A Fender amp we set up in the bathroom.

Career Opportunities (pre-order bonus track)

I had been thinking that as much Clash as we reference within our own songs, we had never covered a Clash song at any time, even in the beginning when we did lots of covers. We were looking for covers for bonus tracks and I suggested “Career Opportunities” since it’s theme matched the rest of the record. We’ve just started adding it to the live set and it’s awesome fun to play.

We did a few other covers. “Jeepster” by T. Rex and a song about Cupid by a 60’s band I had never heard of, but Rhett’s uncle played in the original band and he also plays on our cover. It seems like we may have done one more but I can’t remember.

That was pretty much the session. We hope you sweet people are having fun with the album.

 

 

Most Messed Up

Longer Than You’ve Been Alive

Give It Time

Let’s Get Drunk & Get it On

This Is the Ballad

Wheels Off

Nashville

Wasted

Guadalajara

The Disconnect

The Ex of All You See

Intervention

Most Messed Up

 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Longer Than You’ve Been Alive

 
we’ve been doing this longer than you’ve been alive

propelled by some mysterious drive

and they still let me do it as weird as that seems

and I do it most nights and then again in my dreams

infinite hallways in giant hotels

dressing room looks ‘bout as good as it smells

 

bottles of whiskey bottles of beer

there’s a bottle of medicine somewhere ‘round here

we’ve been in nightclubs and we’ve been in bars

honky-tonks and theaters from Memphis to Mars

most of our shows were a triumph of rock

although some nights I might have been checkin’ the clock

 

I’m only human though I’m super at times

I’ve jumped off of risers I should not have climbed

rock jumps won’t kill you ‘til one of them does

well they’ll say he died doing what he loves

we got our share of lovin’ in our past

although we were all lookin’ for someone who’d last

 

well it must be hard to get partnered with me

some narcissism some O.C.D.

but love that comes easy’s a fake or a fluke

love is a marathon sometimes you puke

speaking of which there has been alcohol

oceans and oceans but that isn’t all

mountains of weed a handful of pills

none of the hard stuff that shit kills

we’ve been doing it longer than you’ve been alive

twenty good years of about twenty-five

 

rock and roll’s been very very good to me

the open road’s the only place I wanna be

rock and roll’s been very very good to me

the open road’s the only place I wanna be

 

I’m not crazy about songs that get self-referential

and most of this stuff should be kept confidential

but who even gives half a fuck anymore

well you should know the truth it’s both a blast and a bore

rock stars were once such mythical creatures

up there with presidents playmates and preachers

 

now you just do it cause it’s what you do

they throw underwear instead of money at you

now I’ve made a living out of shakin’ my ass

and if you offered me an office I’d have to pass

but our jobs are all jobs and sometimes they suck

I love what I do and I’ve had pretty good luck

 

the fans are all clappin’ screamin’ and squealin’

and I wont lie to you that’s a pretty sweet feeling

and I might butt heads with the guys in my band

but I never once went to work for the man

but the men and the women like you him and her

we’re sharin’ this night that’ll soon be a blur

we’ve been doing this longer than you’ve been alive

get on the bus and tell the driver to drive

 

rock and roll’s been very very good to me

the open road’s the only place I wanna be

rock and roll’s been very very good to me

the open road’s the only place I wanna be

rock and roll’s been very very good to me

the open road’s the only place I wanna be

I said the open road’s the only place I wanna be

yeah

 
 
 
 
 
 

Give It Time

 
when I saw you for the first time

I thought I might be sick

that combination of joy and compulsion

and you were the reason for it

and in the blink of an eyelid

you were in my ride

I was wasted thought you’d laugh when I kissed you

though I guess it makes sense that you cried

 

give it time give it time give it time

it will break you

 

from our house I heard voices so far away

there’s no difference between ropes and roses

when you’ve got nothin’ good to say

and in the blink of an eyelid

you become someone else

I try to find you but you are on a island

and I guess I have to tell myself

give it time give it time give it time

it will break you

 

when I saw you for the last time

I sweat right through my shirt

I’m no professional heartbreak’s just a pastime

but that don’t mean it don’t hurt

 

give it time give it time give it time

it will break you

give it time give it time give it time

it will break you

give it time give it time give it time

it will break you

it will break you

it will break you
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Let’s Get Drunk & Get it On

 
your eyes are the color of the earth

as seen from outer space

you’ve got a gorgeous face though it’s a little odd

you tell me that you like the songs that tell the story of

real love kind that’s flawed

 

let’s drink whiskey and do it all night long

let’s get drunk and get it on

 

take you to a cheap hotel out on the interstate

well you look so great to me

this is the perfect place for a rendezvous

it’s got a rotten view but the ice is free

 

let’s drink whiskey and do it all night long

let’s get drunk and get it on

 

lay out a blanket beneath the water tower

watch the meteor shower heaven on display

we got right here right now lucky us

it’s wondrous what a perfect day

 

drink champagne and make love all night long

let’s get drunk and get it on

let’s drink whiskey and do it all night long

let’s get drunk and get it on

let’s get drunk and get it on

let’s get drunk and get it on
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

This Is the Ballad

 
this is the ballad of drinking rye whiskey

and sleeping till 2 on a warm afternoon

telling your journal how badly you miss me

and you can’t believe I’ll be coming so soon

this is the ballad of anticipation

waiting and waiting and waiting and then

finally getting the one you’ve been wanting

and guess what it’s time to start waiting again

 

this is the ballad we all must sing

while we wait to find out what tomorrow will bring

 

this is the ballad of long conversations

heavy with silence and shuddering breaths

you’re self destructing your voice is all shaken

my reservations are all I have left

this is the ballad of trying to grow flowers

so life will seem like it has meaning and stuff

finding out all of those beautiful flowers

will never be anywhere close to enough

 

this is the ballad we all must sing

while we wait to find out what tomorrow will bring

 

this is the ballad of drinking rye whiskey

distilled in a barn that burned down around it

find myself saying what I should be thinking

your figure is flawless I’m so glad I found it

 

this is the ballad we all must sing

while we wait to find out what tomorrow will bring

while we wait to find out what tomorrow will bring

I can’t wait to find out what tomorrow will bring
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Wheels Off

 
I been a party to a number of things

of which I’m not proud but I’ll sing

every day for pay I’m travelin’

I got a story ’bout a girl I dig

big heart but she ain’t that big

she’s a doll that’s all I’m unravelin’

I try to make her the happiest

all I ever made before was a mess

we drank all the way to the bank

and then we drank again

 

that’s when it got wheels off

started up and we ain’t gonna stop

I said I like you like it or not

that’s when it got wheels off

 

I took her back and I carried her in

we kissed once and we did it again

she’s a bright beam of light no sleep for me

we went drinking at the Roosevelt

we took something and we started to melt

this is love and it’s blowin’ up exponentially

 

that’s when it got wheels off

started up and we ain’t gonna stop

she made me feel like a god

that’s when it got wheels off

 

got a story about a girl I dig

big heart but she ain’t that big

now she’s mine most of the time

that’s good enough for me

 

that’s when it got wheels off

started up and we ain’t gonna stop

I said I like you like it or not

that’s when it got wheels off

that’s when it got wheels off

we started up and we ain’t gonna stop

pour me some Jameson give me some rocks

that’s when it got wheels off

that’s when it got wheels off
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Nashville

 
well I married Caroline back in May of ’99

it was fucked up at the time but I figured we’d keep tryin’

her brother and her dad they were spitting mad

when I packed up what I had and took off runnin’ it was bad

it was mean I didn’t care and it’s gotten me nowhere

so I’m trying to be a better man

 

I turned left turns into right I turned sunshine into night

I got my ass kicked every fight no I couldn’t get it right

I built castles out of sand I didn’t understand

why everything I planned ran like whiskey off my hand

and my hands were never clean things I wished I’d never seen

I’d do anything to wake up from this motherfuckin’ dream

 

who’d I got to blow to get in this fuckin’ show

it’s dark in there I know and I got nowhere else to go

but I need a place to hide so I’ll put away my pride

and come inside ’cause I’m tired of running

 

and there’s a universe that’s floating out in space

and I look up there and I can’t find my face

and I’m seein’ my reflection backstage

writin’ down the same old words on the same old page

 

who’d I got to blow to get in this fuckin’ show

it’s dark in there I know and I got nowhere else to go

but I need a place to hide so I’ll put away my pride

and come inside ’cause I’m tired of running

who’d I got to blow to get in this fuckin’ show

it’s dark in there I know and I got nowhere else to go

but I need a place to hide so I’ll put away my pride

and come inside ’cause I’m tired of running

come inside ’cause I’m tired of running

come inside ’cause I’m tired of running
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Wasted

 
I’m gonna play my guitar ’til my fingers fall off

sing till my voice is gone

they might think I’ve wasted my life they’re wrong

I’m not down with the uptight world

never gonna be no square

I’ll circle round the edge of the big black void

but I don’t wanna live down there

 

I’m better off being wasted

than working my whole life through

tonight I wanna get wasted with you

 

really it’s a pity that you’re so hung up

missin’ all the mystery

you might wanna make a little time with me

but you gotta get rid of that goddamn phone

drop it down a wishin’ well

dance on the edge of the big black void

throw rocks at the gates of hell

 

We’re better off being wasted

than working our whole life through

tonight I wanna get wasted with you

 

I’m gonna play my guitar ‘til my fingers fall off

sing till my voice is gone

they might think I’ve wasted my life they’re wrong

 

I’m not down with the uptight world

never gonna be no square

I’ll circle round the edge of the big black void

but I don’t wanna live down there

 

I’m better off being wasted

than working my whole life through

tonight I wanna get wasted with you

tonight I wanna get wasted with you
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Guadalajara

 
she said hey can I get a little help my bikini is stuck in the back

she had sun-brown skin and a lot of white teeth and I watched her mouth go slack

I didn’t mean to say yes I never even did I just started when I got to her

I was there on a work trip she was a holiday girl

 

I woke up in the middle of the night in a pile on the foot of the bed

she was fast asleep breathin’ slow arms up over her head

she was the champion of the world right then I was a runner up

I was there on some bullshit work trip

look at my good luck look at my good luck

 

she woke up at the crack of noon with a faraway look in her eye

lying in a great big patch of sun looking like she was gonna cry

I don’t need this kind of pressure I’m a cynical man

I got a lot of livin’ left to do I’m just here for a work trip babe

not to fall in love with you I don’t wanna fall in love with you

 

I ain’t spoken for I never have been I’m speakin’ for myself just fine

I thought I should get a little credit thought I did the right thing this time

I let her go I watched her walk I made a memory of her

I don’t work no good no more thinkin’ ‘bout the holiday girl

thinkin’ ‘bout the holiday girl

 

she said hey can I get a little help my bikini is stuck in the back
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

The Disconnect

 
orange ones pick you up blue ones get you down

oh the glass is golden brown my my

these stairs will break your fall there’s diamonds in the steel

they’re the only thing that’s real bye bye

 

I am now connected to the disconnect

where the real world holds no sway

I’ve been gone as long as I can recollect

and the real world isn’t that real anyway

 

my friends call me up so they can call me out

say you’re always headed south why why

truth is life is short truth’s in short supply

there’s barely time to cry bye bye

 

I am now connected to the disconnect

where the real world holds no sway

I’ve been gone as long as I can recollect

and the real world isn’t that real anyway

no the real world isn’t that real anyway

 

find your way back home or stay here on your own

and spend your life alone

 

green ones turn you off white ones turn you on

almost all night long so high

come down pay the price it’s steeper everyday

are you gone enough to say bye bye

are you strong enough to say bye bye

 

I am now connected to the disconnect

where the real world holds no sway

I’ve been gone as long as I can recollect

and the real world isn’t that real anyway

no the real world isn’t that real anyway

oh the real world isn’t that real any

I am now connected to the disconnect

I am now connected to the disconnect

I am now connected to the disconnect

I am now connected to the disconnect
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

The Ex of All You See

 
on my right hand it’s plain to see

the work I’ve done, the miles on me

but on my left, a white ring’s where

a gold one used to be

 

and oh yeah, she’ll say goodbye

as you are now, so once was I

as I am now, you’ll surely be

the ex of all you see

 

Now I have known a Runaround Sue

her hand was warm and mine to lose

she took my day my night my dawn

then Runaround Sue was gone

 

and oh yeah she’ll say goodbye

as you are now, so once was I

as I am now, you’ll surely be

the ex of all you see

 

in my voice you’ve surely heard

for all I’ve said, I have no words

the happy man, his robe and crown

the things that once were ‘round

 

but a tough old bird you just can’t kill

a smilin’ man I’ll be but still

a small white circle tells on me

for those with eyes to see

 

and oh yeah, she’ll say goodbye

as you are now, so once was I

as I am now, you’ll surely be

the ex of all you see

 

oh yeah, she’ll say goodbye

as you are now, so once was I

as I am now you’ll surely be

the ex of all you see 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Intervention

 
my friend Richard’s in a bad bad way

waking up beaten up every day

drinking malt liquor smokin’ menthols

diggin’ a hole climbin’ the walls

yeah we gotta figure out how to get his attention

intervention

 

my friend Richard’s on a bad bad trip

can’t smile too good through a busted up lip

don’t smile too much no more no how

got to get his shit together got to do it right now

all his friends are feeling the tension

intervention

 

we’re only here ’cause we care about you

and we want you to get well

you’re acting like a asshole and we’re sick of it if you can’t tell

twenty-seven days on a dry vacation

intervention

 

yeah my friend Richard doesn’t want to go

he says fuck y’all hell no

he’s mystified why we’re so lame

but if he wakes up dead will he feel the same

somebody kick him in the sack just to stop his bitching

intervention

 

we’re only here ’cause we care about you

and we want you to get well

you’re acting like a asshole and we’re sick of it if you can’t tell

twenty-seven days on a dry vacation

intervention

we’re only here ’cause we care about you

and we want you to get well

you’re acting like a asshole and we’re sick of it if you can’t tell

twenty-seven days on a dry vacation

intervention intervention intervention
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

Most Messed Up

 
stop squeezin’ my shoes quit killin’ my buzz

why you wreckin’ my mood what are you the fuzz

I’m so far gone I can’t never get found

I am the most messed up motherfucker in this town

I know it’s not fair I had a head start

there’s only so many words you can rhyme with heart

well I used ‘em all up yeah I wrote ‘em all down

I am the most messed up motherfucker in this town

 

yeah I need a little need a little need a little need a little sympathy

yeah I need a little need a little need a little need a little sympathy

 

I’ll prove it all night to the porcelain god

and the dark-eyed girl with the name I forgot

but when I wake up there ain’t nobody around

I am the most messed up motherfucker in this town

 

yeah I need a little need a little need a little need a little sympathy

yeah I need a little need a little need a little need a little sympathy

yeah I need a little need a little need a little need a little sympathy

 

I am the most messed up I am the most messed up

I am the most messed up motherfucker in this town

 

 

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REVIEWS

Rolling Stone

Paste

A.V. Club

Yahoo

American Songwriter

The Washington Post

Exclaim.ca

The Brookhaven Courier

San Antonio Current

The Kansas City Star

 

INTERVIEWS

Texas Monthly

The Dallas Morning News

Most Messed Up AMA

Here and Now

 

TWEETS

The new @Old97s record makes me want to drink excessively, have lots of sex and play loud rock and roll… even more than normal. -@hayescarll

This new @Old97s album is hammered. And gettin’ handsy. #SmartLyricsAboutDumbDrunks -@ThumpAndGrowl

The @Old97s “Most Messed Up” is a brilliantly boozy, masterful mess of rock. It’s like a greatest hits album of all-new music. -@cj_keith

New @Old97s is surf, garage, jangle, booze, sex, longing & regret–all on one very rockin’ record. I know I’m gonna wear out the LP. -@MsSemicolon

 

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